Fitting the new side hatch
A few weeks ago I posted about the arrival of our new side hatch from Kedian Engineering.
Before we start
Over Christmas I have been preparing it in the workshop at home, painting, glazing and adding the furniture - basically getting it ready to install whenever time and weather came together in favourable alignment.
Out with the old
After weeks of rain and wind today dawned clear and bright so, with things set fair for the day, the decision was made to get the hatch into the boat. First off there was a call into B&Q in Cannock to purchase some essential tools and some super strength silicone - the stuff which stick in the wet and is guaranteed against just about everything.
Square off the corners
First off the inner trim was removed and after the external screws were removed a gentle push saw the old window ease out of its hole. Just to be sure I checked the dimensions and it was clear I had over 10mm clearance all round.
Then I squared off the rounded corners. Getting the line right is a bit tricky but the task is made easier if you have a hacksaw with a handle which swings out of the way.
Open and ready
Then the hatch assembly is located in the aperture and the screw holes marked on the cabin side with a felt marker and centre punched. The instructions said use a 4.2 mm drill bit but B&Q only had 4 mm or 4.5 mm, so I took both and cut the holes slowly using the 4.00 mm bit. A test with a self tapping screw showed that the holes were too small so they were re cut to 4.5 mm which worked a treat.
Two beads of silicone was added around the flange of the hatch and the whole thing was lifted into place and offered to the cabin side. Thankfully the holes were perfectly aligned and with much heavy duty twisting, all the screws were driven home and silicone squeezed out round the edges.
These frames are so rigid that the imperfections in the steel sides were pulled straight.
With the surplus silicone removed the screw heads and various paint chips were covered in undercoat and the unit was ready for a test.
The catches fit snugly in to their receiving holes and when pulled open the doors swung back to lie clean and smooth to the cabin sides.
I am really glad I went for the glazed option. When closed its 100% window and when open its 100% hatch.
The unit is far heavier than the Caldwell aluminium window it replaced and immediately altered the trim of the boat, so a concrete ballast block was removed to compensate. Now there is just the small matter of fitting some trim to the inside and a few dabs of Union Green gloss and the job in complete. Not bad for three hours effort.